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U Said It: Frank Hall
Frank Hall, chairman of a pallet, lumber, and specialty wood products company, answers questions from the Pallet Enterprise about working in the industry.
Date Posted: 11/1/2012
Pallet Enterprise: What is the hardest challenge your company faces right now?
Hall: A lack of raw material supply - both cores and lumber. The availability of used pallets is very close, very tight. They just don’t seem to be out there. We’re scratching every day to try to keep our customers satisfied. For lumber, we’re lucky enough to have a mill or two close by that’s doing a good job for us now. But that could change very quickly, depending on what the lumber market does. There’s an old saying in the lumber industry, that whatever the price of pine does, the price of hardwood will do six months later. Pine has gone through the ceiling. So six months from now, according to this theory, hardwood’s going to go through the ceiling too. And that’s going to make the price of pallets go through the sky. We’ve had flashes of this for the last four or five years, but now it’s more pronounced than ever.
Pallet Enterprise: What is the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
Hall: “You can succeed at most anything you want to do as long as you are willing to work at it hard enough.”
Pallet Enterprise: What is the best part of working in this industry?
Hall: It’s the people – the most wonderful, hard working people in the world. They are capitalists, fierce competitors, great entrepreneurs, believe in free enterprise, and hard working. But when a competitor friend gets in trouble, they are there to help out.
Pallet Enterprise: If you could do anything else in life, what would it be?
Hall: I never want to stop working, but someday I would like to work for a salary again…to not worry about personnel, payrolls, disappointed customers, A/P, A/R, etc. I just want to go home at
5 pm and not worry about it all again. But I didn’t do that when I was on a salary 40 years ago.